"The fact is, we can’t force others to change. But we can maintain a positive connection and provide a supportive atmosphere in which change could occur. The challenge is to rise above negative feelings and offer as much encouragement and empathy as possible."
American Psychological Association, Division 50, Society of Addictive Behavior
This article highlights the development of a balanced approach to discussing drug benefits, in addition to discussing reduced harm.
"The most powerful way to overcome fear is by taking action — to do something about whatever frightens us. As parents we can model this for our children. We can show them that we are working for a safer world."
"In collaborative counseling that allows choices, clients get to identify the issues they want to work on. They make the decisions. We make it clear that we’re not there to make them quit using drugs…and couldn’t even if we tried."
"Tell them they are powerless; tell them you trust them but conduct drug tests; be an alarmist; and other effective ways to make sure kids avoid getting help."
"I believe we would have much better outcomes and benefit a lot more people if we stopped ‘treating drug problems,’ and started thinking in terms of providing comprehensive counseling."
"Look around and you will find counselors pushing the agenda of abstinence and trying to control behavior. You’ll find youth cleverly resisting and fighting back in all kinds of creative ways."
"…people often behave in ways that promote lying. You could say they create an environment in which other people are afraid to tell the truth."
"To help people overcome drug problems, we need to get off the powerlessness bandwagon, stop exaggerating the power of drugs, and stop diminishing the power of people."
"Rescuing doesn’t work. It basically hijacks the pathway to personal decision-making and change. Instead of people reaching their own conclusions about their lives, someone else does it for them."
Other Resources and Information
Pro Talk- Written by Anne Fletcher
"The Seven Challenges really makes you realize what to look for right before you’re falling. They help you think through why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have to want to change for yourself, and the Seven Challenges helps you do that.”
The voice of families impacted by substance use and the harms of existing drug policies.
This is self-empowering recovery support; offering support groups and online services.